Masters in Organizational Leadership (MA, MS & MBA)

Masters in organizational leadership programs aim to help you develop important leadership skills and knowledge to apply in the real world. Courses might explore a wide range of topics, from the ins and outs of workforce management to methodologies of project and program management.

While earning your masters in leadership, you could develop expertise you could use on the job and throughout your life. Programs may be available with a variety of concentrations, so no matter your industry or your role, you may be able to grow your capacity to lead.

What is A Masters in Organizational Leadership?

Masters in leadership programs aim to build management expertise suitable for any organization. Some programs may focus specifically on being a leader in certain contexts. For example, courses might look at the ins and outs of project management, workforce development, or change management. Others may look at certain industries or organization types. Or you could choose a program that aims to develop broader management skills, preparing leaders to lead their teams in any situation.

What all these have in common is a shared person-centric perspective. Whatever your area of focus, organizational leadership masters programs work on balancing the needs of your team with the demands of the organization. That way, you could lead your team to success, empowering individuals while exceeding expectations.

Masters in Organizational Leadership

Masters Degree in Leadership Concentrations

Leadership is both complex and multidisciplinary. It could range from different types of management positions within one organization to different types of organizations. Then there’s the diversity of objectives, and the unique needs of each team. It’s not surprising, then, that different leaders might need slightly different skill sets. As such, some organizational leadership graduate programs design concentrations into their programs with these very situations in mind.

Here are a few examples of the types of concentration areas you might pursue.

  • Project Management: This discipline involves leading a team to achieve a complex, multifaceted client goal. Project management combines leading teams of professionals with diverse skill sets, balancing multiple unique tasks, scheduling, contract management, budgeting, and more.
  • Nonprofit Leadership: Leading a nonprofit organization requires some unique knowledge. This could include fluency with public policy, ethical concerns, funding strategies, and even community-mindedness.
  • Change Management: This concentration looks at ways to lead a team through organizational change. Programs may also examine the psychology behind how people react to changing circumstances. In some cases, this might cross over with organizational development and look at how to plan for and initiate company-wide changes in structure, process, or objective.

These are only a few of many potential specializations within organizational leadership. The availability of these and other options may vary, so reach out to your schools under consideration for more information.

What is a Masters in Risk Management?

Risk management masters programs focus on using data and assessment frameworks to make good decisions. Programs look at strategies to identify potential risk scenarios and how to create plans to address them. Risk management masters programs may also examine things like crisis management. They might even look at the flip side of risk management—that is, how to take calculated and strategic risks to advance your organization and earn positive results. Risk management could be specific to certain areas like finance or accounting, or take a broader view of an organization’s operations. Read more about Risk Management Masters Programs for more information.

Organizational Leadership Masters Degree Types

Earning your masters in leadership might result in a few different degree types. In some cases, the type of masters degree awarded might reflect the values, focus, or objective of the program in question. In other cases, the differences could be more minor and depend on convention at that school.

Here are some basics on the types of masters degrees that may be available.

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): An MBA in Leadership focuses on the business aspect of managing an organization. This could include things like finance and accounting, and other general business skills. MBA in leadership programs could be designed for those just beginning a career, as well as for those with a great deal of experience. Learn more about the MBA in Leadership here.
  • Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) or Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL): While the specific degree name may vary between schools, MSL and MSOL programs otherwise have much in common. These multidisciplinary programs tend to focus more on the people-aspect of leadership than on business skills. In other words, while the program may include business classes, more attention might be placed on the psychology of the workplace and strategies for leading teams effectively. Many of these programs are designed for students with professional experience.
  • Master of Public Administration: Sometimes seen as an MBA for the public sector, MPA programs may focus on leadership in nonprofit organizations, local government, and other similar areas. Programs may dedicate time to studying public policy in addition to honing leadership and organizational skills.
  • Discipline-Specific Degree Types: You may also encounter a variety of masters degree in organizational leadership types unique to certain fields, such as education or healthcare. In these cases, the details may depend heavily on the discipline in question.

As always, remember that individual programs may vary from these descriptions on a case-by-case basis. Remember to follow up with your preferred leadership masters programs for more information about their degree programs!

Masters in Leadership Program Formats

Organizational leadership masters degree programs may be offered in a variety of formats. These could be divided into three basic categories.

  • Online Organizational Leadership Masters Programs allow students to access courses from their own compatible devices, from whatever internet-enabled location is convenient for them. This level of flexibility could make it possible to balance your education with your career. Not to mention, it might enable you to take your new leadership skills from the classroom right out into the field, and put your education into practice as soon as possible.
  • Graduate School Organizational Leadership Masters Programs are anchored on a physical campus, with access to all the resources that might entail. Some graduate school leadership masters programs may even offer increased flexibility through convenient course scheduling options, such as night classes.
  • Hybrid Organizational Leadership Masters Programs could bring together the advantages of campus based and online learning! Also called blended or partially online, you could study in an organizational leadership masters program anchored to a physical campus, while still having access to flexible scheduling and online courses.

Within each of these three categories, individual programs may have some differences. As such, when choosing your programs, make sure you follow up with your schools for more information.

What Can You Do With a Masters in Organizational Leadership ?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, masters degrees in organizational leadership could be relevant to a variety of career paths. That’s because leadership skills are essential to almost every organization, regardless of the industry that organization serves. Here are some examples of the leadership or management positions you might seek with a masters in organizational leadership.

  • Executive Leadership – 2015 Median Salary $102,690
  • Financial Managers – 2015 Median Salary $117,990
  • Human Resources Managers – 2015 Median Salary $104,440
  • Postsecondary Education Administrators – 2015 Median Salary $88,580
  • Training and Development Managers – 2015 Median Salary $102,640
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers – 2015 Median Salary $132,800

Individual positions may require specific experience and training. (For example, most engineering managers need some kind of background in or related to engineering in order to be considered.) So pay close attention to prerequisites when you begin your search.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Training and Development Managers
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$156,650440
Danbury, CT$150,300Not Reported
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO$144,24090
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$142,9403,510
Fresno, CA$140,33030

Bureau of Labor Statistics offers 57 Organizational Leadership Masters Degree Programs

If you’re ready to earn your masters in organizational leadership, we’re ready to help! Keep in mind your goals and objectives, and your professional and educational background while you search. Once you find the ones you’re interested in, click on the program names to reach out and apply!

  • No application fee for April & June terms
  • Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
  • Eligible new or returning students can save $3,000 on tuition with the Master’s Scholarship.
  • Strayer University is an accredited institution with a proud history of 125 years in quality education.
  • With the help of dedicated personal support and AI technology, earn your degree online or on campus.
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